A Winter Safari Garden
Devon's Capability Brown gardens reveal their wild winter secrets
Safari gardens are spectacular in the winter. Cold, crisp, frost-scattered mornings shine pale yellow flashes of sunrise over an abundant landscape shimmering with wild grasses alongside brush and sculpted, gnarly trees clutching onto their last remaining crimson leaves.
Endless birds chase around, busy foraging the wild spaces. As the early evening closes in the sounds of the dusk reverberate. Stags bellow in the distance while badger scurry about and foxes prowl. The screech of owls signalling that night is drawing in as bats torpedo through.
Rewilded sanctuaries for plant and animal brim with winter activity and renewal. Devon’s Capability Brown gardens light up with gold and silver hues. Plants and grasses left to seed ensuring that scrub, shrub and beds are packed with cover for animals and birds to forage while nature’s structures support all manner of insect eggs.
Little is cut back until the spring, which is a busy period. Until then we get to enjoy the tree planting and newly created patches for wildflower, while building the latest leaf piles and wildlife biodomes. The latter can be a useful tool to help protect wild rabbit populations from the current rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus. So too the hares, that in certain parts of the UK are suffering from what looks like a form of myxomatosis that might have jumped from rabbits.
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